Conservation Club

Established in 2011, the aim of the Conservation Club is to channel our natural enthusiasm for fresh air, wild woods and windswept beaches into positive and creative conservation projects.

In so doing we have planted over 3,500 trees, put up nearly 100 bird and bat boxes, cleared seven local beaches of marine litter and helped to create and restore habitat for native wildlife across East Lothian and the Borders.

In 2014 we won the Woodland Trust's Green Tree Schools Gold Award, the Forestry Commission's Scotland's Finest Woods Highly Commended award and were selected as a Regional Environmental Champion by Surfers Against Sewage.

Competing against huge organisations like the National Trust for Scotland, Cairngorm Peatland Restoration Project and Marine Conservation Scotland we won the Runner-Up prize for Conservation and the Environment at this year's Scottish Rural Awards.

We were most delighted to win the RSPB's Nature of Scotland Award for Youth & Education. Belhaven Hill School Conservation Club was chosen by a panel of judges from the hundreds of schools and education groups that entered the competition.

We are always looking for ways to improve the school grounds as a haven and habitat for wildlife. We also want to use our time and effort to run projects that will benefit wild plants and animals beyond the walls of the school in the wider East Lothian community.

In three short years we have made some real progress:

  • We have planted almost 500 trees in and around the school grounds.
  • We joined forces with Tweed Forum to plant over 1,000 trees to prevent flooding
  • We have erected over 85 nest boxes for small birds, owls and bats and built hedgehog houses to shelter small animals.
  • We have planted a 70 metre hedge in the school grounds and cleared an area of the Shrub to create a Wildlife Garden.
  • We restored a 150 metre long wildlife hedge near Garvald with the Woodland Trust and Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
  • We worked with the Woodland Trust and the Army to plant a First World War Centenary Wood in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh.
  • We planted a 175 metre wildlife hedge with the Woodland Trust and Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust at Hopes Estate.
  • We have built a bird hide as an Outdoor Classroom from scrap materials
  • We have put up four bird tables around the grounds. We now grow 200 sunflowers per year to fill the feeders over the Winter.
  • We have started a coppicing cycle in the Shrub to provide us with a sutainable source of timber.
  • We were visited by a local gamekeeper to learn how to protect wildlife on sporting estates.
  • We worked with Surfers Against Sewage to clear marine litter from sections of Belhaven Bay, Pease Bay, Tyninghame Links and Dunbar's East Beach..
  • We gave 20 bird boxes to West Barns and Yester Primary Schools and Fenton Barns and Pumpking Patch Nurseries.
  • We have collected thousands of seeds and created a "milk bottle nursery" to grow our own trees here at Belhaven Hill.

In 2015 we were awarded the Gold Award for the Woodland Trust's Green Tree Schools award scheme and have been selected as a Regional Environmental Champion by Surfers Against Sewage.

As the years progress we aim to push beyond the school walls more than ever before with environmental projects that will be of real benefit to our local community.

We have so many exciting projects running that every child can be involved.

BHSCC completes Bird-Hide and Milk Bottle Nursery
Form 4 are helping to restore the Walled Garden using plant cloning techniques.
Form 4 Work hard to plant out the seeds in the milk-bottle nursery
Form 4s put two oystercatcher trays up on to the roof of our DT Hut
Pupils help to support flood prevention in the Borders
Belhaven Hill supports flood prevention in the Tweed Valley